Pests: A threat to Naval Force!!

Naval Force and Defence sector are the major sectors defining the growth and development of a nation state. It is needless to describe how important these sectors to a nation’s security, integrity and prosperity. Billions of rupees are allocated every year for the advancement of these sectors.

Global presence and the increased operating tempo of naval forces greatly increase the chances of encountering pests that transmit pathogens, infest food supplies, damage electronic devices or simply present a nuisance to crew members. These pests are prone to inhabit certain areas, making continual monitoring important for the following spaces:

  • Food service areas.
  • Sculleries.
  • Mess decks.
  • Ship’s stores (e.g., soda storage areas).
  • Snack areas.
  •  Heads and showers.
  • Dry provision storage areas.
  • Berthing areas.
  • Laundry and dry-cleaning shops.
  • Cleaning gear locker.
  • Garbage collection areas.
  • Electrical devices.
  • Junction box.

Insects like ants, cockroach, beetles, bedbugs etc. are the most commonly images (12)encountered pest aboard Navy ships. They contaminate food and food preparation areas and lower crew morale. The construction characteristic of navy vessels makes pest control very difficult. Abundant standing water, food, warmth, and numerous potential harborages provide the pests with an ideal habitat for growth and survival.

These pests require food, water and harborage for the growth and survival. Their habits and body structure enable them to potentially transmit pathogens that cause dysentery and diarrhea. Their flattened body enables them to hide in tight places that are warm and dark. Infestations are most likely to be in and around:

  • Steam lines.
  • Cable bundles
  • Berthing
  • False bulkheads, overheads, and splash boards.
  • Lagging and torn insulation.
  • Behind pictures and bulletin boards.
  • Around holes for plumbing and electrical lines.
  • Behind drawers.
  • Around iron supports of counters and serving lines.
  • In hollow furniture and utility legs (e.g., refrigeration and heavy equipment supports).
  • Oncoming food stores (e.g., bagged onions, potatoes), soft drink containers, and cardboard containers.
  • Ovens and oven hoods.
  • Motor housings, esp., in refrigeration units, ice cream machines.

Not only insects but rodents are also a threat to defence forces. There are several incidences that show how defence sector faces problem due to these pests:

  • Navy SNAFU: Some Things Don’t Change

April 03, 2009, Sodahead.com, US

A senior official at the weapons station, who asked not to be identified, said the problem began when a squirrel came in contact with an electrical transformer. The rodent was electrocuted and the transformer exploded, knocking out power for a time, and seriously damaging a key component of the base phone system.

  • Honduran army goes to war against invading bugs

By Noe Leiva, December 3, 2015, Phys Org, Honduras

A tree-munching bug called Dentroctomus frontalis, more commonly known in asoldiercutsNorth and Central America as the southern pine beetle.

For Honduran soldiers from the First Artillery Battalion confronting the pine tree bugs in Zambrano province just north of the capital with chainsaws, much of that climate chatter is just theory and abstraction.

Commanders of the battalion of 350 men admit feeling impotent against the beetle, and have called in the country’s Forest Conservation Institute (ICF) and the military’s Forest Commando unit to help cut down infected trees, and healthy ones nearby.

“It’s a shame to see this,” one commando officer, Colonel Bernardo Avila, told AFP.

Below is the table that shows characteristics of some pests found aboard ship:

Insect

Length of adult (mm)

Days to devel-op

Presence

Common type of product attacked

Saw-toothed grain beetle

2-3

30-50

Very common

Packaged cereals, crackers, dried fruits, candy, flour, meal, sugar, dried meat, tobacco, wide variety of grain products

Merchant grain beetle

2-3

30-50

Very common (Pacific region)

Oatmeal, rice, flour, cake mixes, macaroni, cookies

Cigarette beetle,

2-3

30-50

Very common

Breakfast cereals, spices (esp., dry cocoa powder), raisins, rice, teas

Confused flour beetle,

3-4

30-120

Very common (health concern, if 3 or more/pound)

Flour, other grain products, beans, peas, dried fruits, shelled nuts, spices, chocolate

Mediterranean flour moth,

10-14

30-40

Rare

Flour, cereals, bran, biscuits, seeds, chocolate, dried fruits

Indian meal moth,

8-10

25-135

Very common (esp., in vending machine areas)

Flour, corn, cornmeal, dried fruits, nuts, powdered milk, crackers, biscuits, chocolate, dried red peppers, dried flowers

Varied carpet beetle,

2-3

1 generation /year

Common (health concern, demisted species, if 1 or more larvae/lot)

Grain products, woolens, silks, feathers, products of animal origin, rodent nests, dead insects

Rice weevil

2-4

30-50

Very common

Pasta, rice, raw grains, nuts, fruits

Spider beetles

2-3

90-300

Rare

Broken grain, seeds, dried fruits and meats, woolens and dried animal products, rat and mouse droppings

SOURCE: US NAVY SBPC MANUAL

Use of pesticides and insecticides is not an effective method to prevent and control these damages as their effect remains only over a certain period of time. These insecticides and pesticides are toxic in nature. The fumes evaporated from them can cause severe brain damage. They kill the target species as well as beneficial non target species.

C Tech Corporation can offer a solution to overcome damage caused by insects. Termirepel™ anti termite and anti insect additive is an ideal solution for the prevention and control of insects. It follows 6 pronged strategy which is extremely effective on termites as well as insects like cockroach, ants, beetles, grasshopper, bugs etc.

Termirepel™ is non toxic and non hazardous anti insect additive. It is thermally stable and does not degrade on exposure to heat and sunlight. It does not kill or harm the insect but repels them. It does not volatilize and does not degrade in the soil. It is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted.

Termirepel™- Eradicator of Termites!!

Termite in Latin means ‘wood worm’. They are commonly called as white ants and are closely related to cockroaches. They have been recently included into the order ‘Blattodea’.

Termites are social insect. They build large colonies in soil, trees, stump, wood main_termite-workerpile, dead trees, wooden articles and other source of food. Their colonies are maintained at high humidity, this helps to protect thin skinned worker termites from drying out. They gain most of the water content from soil and wood itself. Each colony includes queen, king, workers, soldiers and immature ones. The queen’s body undergoes extraordinary changes and swells up to to give thousands of eggs. That means thousands of termites are added everyday to the colony. The worker’s job is to build the colony, gather food and nurture immature ones. Soldier’s job is to protect the colony from predators.

Termites can be grouped into three basic categories:

Dampwood: Dampwood termites generally live in damp rotting logs or rot pockets in dead or living trees.

Drywood: Drywood termites obtain water from the wood in which they live and have no contact with the soil, or with any other source of moisture.

Subterranean: Subterranean termites are generally ground-dwelling or require contact with the soil or some constant source of moisture and are the main threat posed to timber in the built environment.

Termites are considered to be the most destructive insect pests in the world. A termite colony can consume 5gm of wood per day. Many buildings and structures are damaged by these pests each year resulting in huge financial losses. They are often called as ‘silent destroyer’ because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in your home or yard without any immediate signs of damage. Cellulose found in plants, is the basic food requirements of all termites and in turn all types of plant or wood material can be damaged by termites.

According to Orkin Pest Control Company-each year, termites and similar pests cause an estimated $30 billion in damage to crops and man-made structures in the U.S. Annual termite damage is calculated to be 5 times more than that caused by fire, flooding and storms combined. A homeowner who discovers termite damage spends an average of $3,000 to repair the damage.

Below table shows annual losses associated with termite activity all over the world:

COUNTRY COST ASSOCIATED WITH TERMITE ACTIVITY

( US $ 10^6/YEAR)

MALAYSIA 8-10
INDIA 35.12
AUSTRALIA 100
CHINA 300-375
JAPAN 800
USA 1,000

Source-Department of Process Engineering and Applied Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Here is some news that shows how termites are affecting our lives:

  • Elderly woman found trapped under her bedroom ceiling after the termite-ridden wall collapsed while she was sleeping

31 AUGUST 2015, By ANEETA BHOLE for DAILY MAIL, AUSTRALIA

  • The Adelaide woman, 82, was trapped from her waist down
  • She sustained minor injuries and was taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • Neighbors are checking their houses for termites after the incident

An elderly woman has been injured after her bedroom ceiling collapsed and trapped her under mounds of debris. The woman woke to her ceiling caving in, dropping broken wood and plaster in her home on Arthur Street in Payneham.

South Australian Police media said that the damage was caused by a severe termite infestation.

Moisture is a key element that draws termites to wood, and despite the elderly woman’s house being a 1950’s double brick house, ‘the pests were likely to nest in the roof timber,’ explained Pest manager and neighbor Mark Wagner.

  • Lenders are cracking down on homes with termite infestation

By Jill Chodorov, September 2015, Washington

In a few recent transactions, buyers’ lenders wanted to know whether any structural damage occurred to the house in cases where termites or other wood-destroying insects were discovered during an inspection.

“Lenders are paying more attention to WDI [wood-destroying inspection] reports to protect their investment,” said Jon Okun of Prosperity Home Loans.

Wood-destroying insects cause billions of dollars of structural damage each year and homeowners spend more than $2 billion each year to treat them, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“There are only two kinds of homes-those that have termites and those that will get termites,” said Rusty Markland, operations manager of PestNow, a locally owned pest control and extermination company.

  • Aussie camping disaster: ‘Our tent was invaded by flying termites’

NOVEMBER 30, 2015, AUSTRALIA

Many people had camped at Wollondilly numerous times before and never had a problem with insects.

On this occasion it was just a case of bad timing, according to the Australian Museum.

“Termite colonies are formed when the winged reproductive forms leave their original nest and take a colonizing flight. These flights occur during warm humid weather and usually take place during spring and autumn.” it says.

“We’d never spent so much time contemplating termites until this camping expedition. Inside the tent, we found ourselves standing in a cloud of pests so thick we couldn’t breathe without inhaling them. They were there because we hadn’t abided by one of the cardinal rules of camping: do not leave the tent door unzipped at night while there’s a light on inside” said reporter Leah McLennan.

  • Hanford battles termites at police station

December 02, 2015, U.S.

Police Chief Parker Sever said he learned about the pests a couple weeks ago. He said building maintenance staff had been sweeping up what looked like sawdust. The material was later determined to be termite droppings.

Maintenance Superintendent Randy Shaw said “Longfield Center, the south Hanford walk-in recreation facility, will need a new roof in the next couple of years due to termite damage. Exterminating the pests will require tenting the building at a cost of about $11,000”. 

Termites play a very important role in the ecosystem. They recycle nutrients, in particular nitrogen which is essential for healthy plant growth. When termite mounds erode, the soil particles rich in nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and potassium are washed into soil from the mounds to become available for plant growth. Their excavations alter the structure of trees and provide spaces which have become a necessary part of the habitat of many vertebrate species including bats, birds, reptiles and arboreal mammals. Many species of termite feed on materials such as grass. Only handfuls are of economic importance to timber-in-service. Use of toxic pesticides and insecticides is not an ideal solution to prevent and control this damage caused by termites.

C Tech Corporation can offer a solution to overcome damage caused by termites. Termirepel™ – anti termite additive is an ideal solution for the prevention and control of termites. It follows 6 pronged strategy which is extremely effective on termites as well as insects like ants, beetles, grasshopper, bugs etc.

Termirepel™ is non toxic and non hazardous anti termite and anti insect additive. It is thermally stable and does not degrade on exposure to heat and sunlight. It does not kill or harm the insect but repels them. It does not volatilize and does not degrade in the soil. It is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted.

Protecting Our Crops from Insects

Insects are the most diverse species found on earth. They can be found in places like desert, jungles, mines, caves, swamps etc. except ocean. They are the most adaptable form of life. When these insects cause damage to our crops they become pests. Insect pests inflict damage to humans, farm animals and crops.

Insect pests inflict their damage mainly by direct feeding on above ground or below ground plant parts. Insects with chewing mouth parts like grasshopper,images beetles cause feeding damage such as holes and cuts in stems, bore and tunnel in plant tissues. They also cause injury to plants when they lay eggs in plant tissue. Some insect are also associated with transmission of plant diseases. Because of this infestation many plants die, many of them grow to be abnormal and nutrition deficient. Also in storage area of crops, these insect pests contaminate feeding media through excretion, moulting, dead bodies and their own existence in the product, which is not commercially desirable. Damage done by insect pests encourages infection with bacteria.

Provision of food has always been a challenge facing mankind. Most of the country’s economy depends on agriculture. Due to damage done by insects, grains lose value for marketing, consumption and plantation. Herbivorous insects are said to be responsible for destroying one fifth of the world’s total crop production annually. This reflects major loss to economy of the agriculture and food industry. Indian agriculture currently suffers an annual loss of about US$ 36 billion.

Here is some news on how insect infestation has damaged the crops:

Insects feast on plants, endangering crops and costing billions

Behind the blossoming flowers and fields of fruit in the U.S. lurks a hungry threat that has crawled and eaten its way through much of the country. Sometimes, the menace infiltrates these places on the backs of unsuspecting hikers and travelers.

As summer approaches, swarms of invasive species—which the National Wildlife102658255-AsianLonghornedBeetle.530x298 Federation refers to as “one of the leading threats to native wildlife”—are on a rampage. These organisms attack not just gardens, but also agriculture and the environment, costing the United States about $120 billion each year in damages, according to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a division of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In Hawaii, a rhinoceros-looking black beetle is attacking coconut-bearing palm trees. The beetle was detected less than two years ago, but the Plant Industry Division of the state’s Department of Agriculture is already calling it a “serious invasive pest.” It is forcing officials there to deploy thousands of traps to capture them, and even asking residents to check their mulch before discarding it.

Another bug in Hawaii also found in California is the light brown apple moth. It is a particularly hungry critter known to damage scores of crops such as avocados, grapes and raspberries, and thousands of plants and trees that include roses and eucalyptus. “It could expand its preferences as it is exposed to new plants and crops,” the USDA-APHIS warns.

– 9 May 2015, U.S. CNBC

Flea beetles, cutworms top list of insects bugging Manitoba farmers in 2015

“Insects didn’t take a massive bite out of Manitoba crops in 2015, but there were some nibbling problems caused mainly by flea beetles and cutworms,” says Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development entomologist John Gavloski.

Borers were also found in the stalks of some potatoes, edible bean and hemp this year. It’s not unusual to find corn borers in crops other than corn when populations are high or when the corn isn’t at the right stage to attract the borer, Gavloski said in an interview.

-27 November, 2105, Manitoba, Manitoba Co-operator

In Florida, the OJ crop is getting wiped out by an Asian invader

Florida oranges are threatened with destruction if scientists and the government can’t find a way to stop an Asian bug from spreading a tree-killing disease.

The harvest for the state’s signature fruit could plunge to 27 million boxes by 2026, according to an Oct. 21 report by the Florida Department of Citrus. That’s an 82 percent drop from 149.8 million boxes in 2005, the year the bacterium that causes Huanglongbing, better known as citrus greening, was found in southern Florida.

The disease is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, a tiny winged insect, and there’s currently no known cure. Greening already caused industry-wide losses of $7.8 billion and more than 7,500 jobs in 2006 to 2014, the University of Florida estimates.                                                                                                                                   – 24 November, 2105, Florida, Chicago Tribune

Pink bollworm a nightmare for Bt cotton growers

Most of the crop in Raichur district has been destroyed by the pest.

Farmer from Kadagamdoddi village in Raichur taluk, spent Rs. 2 lakh to cultivate Bt cotton on 15 acres that he had taken on lease. Before he could harvest the first round of yield, the entire field was destroyed by pink bollworm.

“I dread visiting my cotton field and seeing this devastation,” he told The Hindu on Friday. He is not the only farmer to face this problem. Another farmer who cultivated Bt cotton on 18 acres of land said the crop was destroyed by the pink bollworm. He incurred a loss of over Rs. 3.5 lakh.

Disheartening stories of Bt cotton farmers are unfolding across Raichur district, which is one of the major cotton growing districts in the State. The extent of loss is yet to be measured as no survey has been conducted. Cotton is cultivated on nearly 60,000 hectares of lands in the district, most of which is Bt cotton. Farmers started switching to the crop in big numbers in 2007-08 and there has been increase in acreage over the years since then.

-5 December 2015, Karnataka, The Hindu

Using toxic insecticides and pesticides to stop damage caused by insects is not an ideal solution. Insecticides and pesticides are designed to kill and because their mode of action is not specific to one species, they often kill or harm organisms other than pests, including humans. Also the majority of insects are directly important to humans and the environment. For example, several insect species are predators on other harmful pests; others are pollinators, decomposers of organic matter or producers of valuable products such as honey or silk. Some can be used to produce pharmacologically active compounds such as venoms or antibodies.

C Tech Corporation can offer a solution to overcome damage caused by insects to our crops. Termirepel™ is an ideal solution for the prevention of insects. Termirepel™ is the non toxic and non hazardous aversive anti termite and anti insect. Although it is non-hazardous anti termite it is effective on insects like grasshopper, beetles, worms etc. It is cost effective and cost efficient, inert, stable upto 1400 deg C temperature, long lasting etc.

Termirepel™ is manufactured with unique set of complex compounds. It is available in the form of polymer masterbatches which can be incorporated in agricultural films, mulches, etc during processing. Termirepel™ can also be incorporated in silage bags and packaging films to protect the crops in post harvest stage from pest damage.

Protecting crops from stink bug damage

2The deadly bugs called brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), or simply the stink bug, is an insect in the family Pentatomidae, and it is native to ChinaKoreaJapan and Taiwan. It was accidentally introduced into the United States, with the first specimen being collected in September 1998. The brown marmorated stink bug is considered to be an agricultural pest, and by 2010-11 had become a season-long pest in U.S. orchards. The adults are approximately 1.7 centimeters (0.67 in) long and about as wide, forming the shield shape characteristic of other stink bugs. They are various shades of brown on both the top and undersides, with gray, off-white, black, copper, and bluish markings.

The brown marmorated stink bug is an agricultural pest that can cause widespread damage to fruit and vegetable crops. In Japan it is a pest to soybean and fruit crops. In the U.S., the brown marmorated stink bug feeds, beginning in late May or early June, on a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and other host plants including peachesapplesgreen beans, soybeans, cherriesraspberries, and pears. It is a sucking insect, a “true bug“, which uses its proboscis to pierce the host plant in order to feed. This feeding results, in part, in the formation of dimpled or necrotic areas on the outer surface of fruits, leaf stippling, seed loss, and possible transmission of plant pathogens.

Let us look at the below news article;

Beat down soybean insect pests before they cause damage to your crop

Jan 17, 2014Patrick R. Shepard, Contributing Writer

When you see soybean loopers blowing out the top of the canopy, you’ve waited too long to take action,” says Gus Lorenz, Extension IPM specialist at Lonoke, Ark. “They start at the bottom of the plant and work their way up, so you can’t windshield scout loopers.” 

Scouting is critical, especially in a late-planted year like 2013.

“For example, we had really spotty bollworm infestations, Lorenz says. “You could walk across the turnrow from one field that was blooming into another field, and one field would have treatment level while the other field would hardly have any worms. That’s why scouting by the grower and/or consultant is critical. 

“There’s no rhyme or reason why bollworms infest one field and not one beside it. I saw some drilled beans that had higher numbers than row beans with open canopy.

“We need to scout every field and don’t assume that just because the middles have lapped that we’re safe. I encourage growers to use newer products like Belt, Prevathon or Besiege for bollworm control.”  

Stink bugs, which have been a perennial problem for South Carolina soybean growers for some time, were very pronounced in 2013.

“We experienced a lot of pressure from stink bugs because of lush plant growth from all of the rain,” says Jeremy Greene, Clemson University entomologist at Blackville. “Stink bugs represent a group of our most damaging insect pests — they infest a large percentage of our fields regularly, particularly late in the season.” 

The corn earworm can also cause problems in the state’s soybeans.

1Stink bugs can cause a lot of damage if not brought under control. Traditional methods include the use of pesticides and insecticides on target plants such as corn and tomatoes. But the problem with such a solution is that there is always danger of these toxic pesticides entering our ecosystem. Also these harmful pesticides can get leached into the target vegetable or fruit and cause contamination. Many of these pesticides contain potentially harmful and proven carcinogenic compounds like benzene and its derivatives. Thus while using such hazardous products; we are taking a huge risk with the environment as well as human life. That established it is imperative that we find a solution for this problem.

 C Tech Corporation can offer a solution in the form of their non-toxic, non-hazardous product Termirepel™. Termirepel™ is an eco-friendly insect aversive. It is available in the form of polymer masterbatches which can be incorporated in agricultural films, mulches, etc during processing. Termirepel™ can also be incorporated in silage bags and packaging films to protect the crops in post harvest stage from pest damage.